Mana kay Marcos! De Lima warns about Duterte’s obsession for authoritarian rule

Senator Leila de Lima on Tuesday noted how President Rodrigo Duerte has been shadowing the moves of his idol, the late President Ferdinand Marcos, to the point of following the dictator’s shift to one-man rule.

“We are living in perilous times. Philippine society has never been so polarized. Our democracy is dying,” she warned.

President Duterte and his lackeys, the senator said, are preparing to replace the present democratic system with constitutional authoritarianism, “a throwback to 1972 when (then Pres.) Ferdinand Marcos legitimized dictatorship in the Philippines through a new constitution.”

“Apparently this is the same path now being taken by Duterte and his Congress as they lay the groundwork for charter change. Duterte seems bent on keeping himself and his allies in power indefinitely, beyond the present constitutional limits,” she said.

The senator cited several anti-democratic actions to reach Duterte’s Marcosian goals such as the impeachment proceedings against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and planned similar proceedings against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

“The weakening of the independent institutions of our system of checks and balance always precedes the coming of a dictatorship. Mindanao is being experimented upon with the extension of martial law despite the defeat of the ISI-Maute forces in Marawi,” she said.

De Lima said the Mindanao martial law would be used as a precedent for a nationwide martial law despite the absence of invasion or rebellion.

The senator also noted how Duterte continued to hint of a revolutionary government as an option and an open invitation for the military to support a military junta.

“Obviously, this is just another sophomoric forgery of Marcos’s ‘revolution from the center.’ After all, Duterte has never been known for originality, except in the methods of murder and manipulation,” she said.

“The Filipino consciousness has never been exposed to such an assault of lies and deception until Duterte’s propaganda machine. Impunity prevails not only in the mass murder of poor citizens but in other government actions as well,” De Lima added.

She cited the re-appointment of discredited allies such as former Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon who was linked to shabu smuggling and shady characters such as the “indefatigable” Sandra Cam.

“All these indicate the regime’s bravura that it will never be held accountable because it intends to be in power forever,” De Lima said.

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